Perfect Pancakes Recipe: Swedish Style

Swedish Pancake 1Semlor (Shrove Buns)Can you believe it is already Pancake Day! Yes, Shrove Tuesday has crept up on us, marking the start of the season of Lent and the lead up to Easter. I don’t know about you, but it feels like it was only last week when we were taking down Christmas decorations!

Traditionally, on Fettisdagen (Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Pancake Day), rather than eating pancakes, Swedes will tuck into a sweet bun called a semla (semlor is plural); flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and whipped cream.

For me though, Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ is not complete without pancakes, and the Swedish version is so good at any time of year – you will often see it on cafe menus in the summer months. Plus, this version works so well using dairy free ingredients in place of the milk and butter – so if you suffer from an intolerance, you don’t have to miss out! 

The Recipe (Makes 6-8 pancakes)


1 cup (140g) plain flour
2 large eggs
2 cups (450ml) milk (Dairy free friends: soya or almond milk work just as well!)
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
butter for cooking (or dairy free butter)*

*I like to use a mix of melted butter and oil for cooking as it doesn’t burn as easily as butter alone.


  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.
  • Make a well in the flour mixture and add the eggs and whisk together using a mixer or by hand.
  • Gradually add the milk (or dairy free alternative), whisking the mixture continually, to avoid lumps.
    (Note: This mixture is thinner than many other pancake batters, but don’t worry – it’s completely normal for this Swedish Pancake Recipe)
  • Heat a little butter (or oil-butter mix) in the pan and spoon a ladle of mix into the pan.
  • When the top of the pancake becomes ‘dry’, your pancake is ready to flip.
  • After the flip, the other side will probably only need 30-60 seconds more cooking.
  • Keep warm in the over while you cook the rest (or just eat as you go).
  • Serve with jam and cream to be truly authentic to Sweden.

Photo Credits: Susanne Nilsson (for the Semlor photo). All other photos © 2016 Anita Tatlow.

9th February 2016

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